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Reversible Roboticizing

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Having cybernetic implants or becoming a Cyborg usually sounds cool, however inserting these cybernetics into one's own body, whether by choice or not, are permanent and often painful augmentations which can severely harm or even kill the individual if they are removed or damaged.

Not these kinds of cybernetics.

Some forms of media will depict robotization or cybernetic implants as being something that can be easily removed or reversed no matter how impossible it may seem, and usually the individual seems to suffer no ill effects after doing so, such as nausea, extreme pain, or risk of the subject's body rejecting the new implants. Reasons may vary, such as there being a way to replace the subject's organic material or that they possess a healing factor that may allow them to simply shed all their cybernetics like a snake shedding its skin.

Compare Easily Detachable Robot Parts. Contrast Cybernetics Eat Your Soul for when cybernetics not only are not easily replaced but have psychological or metaphysical effects too. See also Death is Cheap, Undeath Is Cheap, and Dismemberment Is Cheap.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Z: After his extreme mutilation on Namek, Frieza is turned into a cyborg, supposedly making him stronger in the process. This all turns out to be meaningless when he gets diced up and disintegrated by Future Trunks shortly upon arriving on Earth. When shown in Hell in Super, Frieza is shown to have retained his cybernetics, but is brought back to life as living, conscious, dismembered pieces that are inserted into a regeneration chamber to restore his flesh and blood body.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Pinocchio 3000: The Big Bad of the film creates a machine designed to turn human children into robots, which he himself winds up getting turned into too. Luckily the process is reversible and the children are turned back to normal.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Inverted in Star Trek: First Contact with Data when the Borg attempt to bribe him by grafting human tissue onto his android body, something that is stated as being beyond Federation science at that point.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played for Laughs on Sledge Hammer!: One episode has Hammer go after a robot being used to commit crimes and get seriously injured in the process. The robot's co-creator then turns Hammer into a cyborg called Hammeroid (who bears a strong resemblance to Robocop). He helps to shut down the robot and gets the cybernetic implants removed with little trouble... except for the enhanced trigger finger.
  • In the Star Trek franchise, where the tech level is such that regrowing a lost limb or body part is considered a fairly routine and simple medical procedure, those who have been assimilated by the Borg can have (most of) their implants removed if they're broken free soon enough. It seems like the longer one spends assimilated, the more difficult the process becomes without seriously risking fatal complications.
    • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Picard's extensive Borg implants are removed offscreen and he physically looks back to normal afterwards, though the psychological scars persist. The series doesn't directly address the complexities of removing the implants since the Borg wouldn't be further explored until later series.
    • The Star Trek: Voyager episode "Unimatrix Zero" sees Janeway, Tuvok, and Torres become temporarily assimilated, but the process is reversed later. The Doctor handwaves that all three do have some implants that cannot be removed, but are hidden away with cosmetic alterations. In contrast, Seven of Nine, Icheb, and the liberated Borg children cannot have their implants fully removed because they were all assimilated as children and have had them for most of their lives.
    • Star Trek: Picard further confirms that because Seven was assimilated as a child, she has far more Borg implants remaining inside her than most other ex-Borg. All the other ex-Borg we see on The Artifact have various levels of implants remaining.

  • In The Harvest, it's revealed certain kinds of Cyberman can be restored to a semblance of humanity via extensive grafts and additional organs. However, the process is massively impractical since the grafts are gradually rejected, and even though they crave emotions and their restored senses, this process doesn't stop the "humanized" Cybermen from still wanting to cyberconvert people.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Cyberpunk: "fleshing out" is a possible operation, whether by Brain Uploading in a clone or grafting the brain (who was usualy conserved during the Full Body Conversion) in a human body, though it might be dangerous if the brain is rejected.
  • Shadowrun: In the cyberpunk future of the game, it is possible to have cybernetic parts removed from the body via surgery, the same way they were added in the first place. However, the Essence (magical Life Energy) that was lost when the cybernetics were first implanted is not regained (unless you pay for very expensive therapy). It's possible, however, to replace a piece of cyberware with a more expensive but less Essence-consuming version of the same thing, then use the leftover Essence hole to give yourself a few more pieces of cyberware.

    Video Games 
  • In BioShock, even though Frank Fontaine, alias Atlas is egging him about his transformation into a Bouncer, Jack is still able to become a normal human being.
    You think turning yourself into one of those tin men is a two-way street? The Kraut's holding auditions for the Frankenstein parade, and you're first in line!
  • Epic Mickey: In Tortooga, Mickey has to shut down a machine created by the Mad Doctor that is transforming the local pirates into Beetleworx. Mickey can either use thinner to destroy the machine or use paint so that the machine will turn the victims back to their normal selves.
  • Raiden from Metal Gear was forcibly turned into a cyborg sometime after the events of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty losing 90% of his original body. By the end of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots we see him in a human body but it's really just cybernetic body meant to look as human-like as possible.
  • Metroid Prime has Ridley being turned into a cyborg dubbed Meta Ridley by the Space Pirates after almost dying at the hands of Samus. This winds up making him stronger and giving him new abilities, remaining this way throughout the Prime trilogy. Come Samus Returns, Ridley has shed almost half of his implants and has completely removed the rest of them by the events of Super Metroid. This is owed to his own innate Healing Factor.
  • Sonic Lost World: Tails is roboticized towards the end of the game thanks to the Deadly Six, but manages to mess with the process enough to retain his free will. He still shows up with mechanical bits grafted to his body, including something that suppresses the natural blue of his eyes for a more gray color. By the end of the game, he's completely back to normal, with no visible signs of any invasive technology on his body.
  • Spyro: A Hero's Tail: During the last confrontation against Red, Spyro knocks him into the machine used to turn Gnorcs into robots, becoming a robot himself. The final battle has Red constantly switching between his regular and robotic forms, with him being turned back into his regular self at the end of it.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: Fiora is turned into a Mechon with most of her body becoming more mechanical than organic. She dislikes it at first, but slowly warms up to her new body as it allows her to fight alongside Shulk against the enemies they face as well as not requiring things like food or sleep anymore. However her body starts to slowly shut down after the loss of Meyneth. Luckily, Fiora manages to get her old body back in the epilogue thanks to a High Entia Regeneration Chamber.
  • Done in rather... gruesome fashion in the comic book tie-in to Mortal Kombat X. Sub-Zero, who was roboticized by the Cyber Initiative in this timeline, was reverted back to humanoid form and turned into an undead revenant by Quan Chi. The method of doing so included tearing him apart and reforming him, all while he was still alive through the process! This was done because Status Quo Is God, so of course Sub-Zero wasn't going to stay a cyborg forever.
  • During Kirby: Planet Robobot, Meta Knight is captured by the Haltmann Works Company and turned into their cyborg minion Mecha Knight. After Kirby beats him the second time, he flees and turns up a short while later with all his robotic parts removed.
  • Killer Instinct: In T.J. Combo's new backstory for Killer Instinct (2013), he was outed for the cybernetic implants he used to increase his power in order to maintain the boxing championship title. Penniless and disgraced, he started his rise back to the top on a clean slate - by ripping the cybernetics out of his arms, leaving behind noticeable scars. The muscle that was no doubt mangled by this healed back fine, and he can hit just as hard without the implants as he could in the previous games when he had them.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants, Melvin Sneedly, one of the major series' antagonists, becomes Melvinborg as a future self version and shows up under the guise of Dr. Vil Endenemys (a Significant Anagram). However, in an unusual case of this trope, the cyborg part becomes optional for Time Travel reasons, due to the present-day Melvin Sneedly renouncing the Evil Plan to kill Captain Underpants that Melvinborg wanted carrying out, causing Melvinborg to be Ret-Gone. One character notes how he seemed to have Taken A Level In Kindness, but Melvin has a Heel–Face Revolving Door role in the series.
  • Ninjago:
    • In Season 3, Cyrus Borg is converted into a cyborg servant by the Overlord, remaining this way until the ninja shut down the power. He becomes this again in "Codename: Arcturus", only for the Overlord to change him back once he has no more use for him in "The Titanium Ninja".
    • In the Season 3 episode "Blackout", Sensei Wu is turned into an evil cyborg by Pythor after being captured by the Overlord. After the ninja seemingly destroy the Overlord in "Enter The Digiverse", Wu winds up returning to normal before saving Garmadon from falling from the top of Borg Industries.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: In "Let's Meet Sonic!", Lord Boxman uses a Master Emerald-powered machine to turn K.O. into a Metal Sonic Expy called "Metal K.O." He is easily turned back to normal after being submerged in water and Sonic spin dashes into him.
  • Teen Titans Go!: In "Real Boy Adventures", Cyborg has all of his cybernetics magically removed and becomes fully human again thanks to Raven so he can enjoy the Titans' new hot tub, remaining this way for the rest of the episode.